No tapes in this collection may be copied for distribution without written permission from the BGEA.
The Hour of Freedom radio program was a weekly radio program which featured the Rev. Howard O. Jones. The program went on the air in the late 1960's but was really a continuation of the radio programs which the Rev. Jones had been broadcasting for many years in Africa and the United States. Each Hour of Freedom program, which was about half an hour long, included musical selections, a scripture reading, and a sermon by Rev. Jones. Occasionally there was a guest speaker. The program was based in Oberlin, OH.
Howard O. Jones was born April 12, 1921, in Cleveland, OH to Howard O. and Josephine Jones. In 1934, the family moved to Oberlin, OH, where the son attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. For a time in high school he was first saxophonist in a local jazz band. He accepted Christ as a young man and enrolled at the Nyack Missionary College of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, from which he graduated in 1944. The same year he married Wanda Young, also a graduate of Nyack, and the couple went to the Bronx, NY, for Jones' first pastorate at the Bethany C&MA Church. In 1952 Jones became pastor of the Smoot Memorial C&MA Church in Cleveland, OH, where he served until 1958. It was while at this church, in 1954, that he began what were to be the two major aspects of his ministry, broadcasting a regular radio program throughout Africa and later the United States and holding evangelistic crusades in many parts of the world, particularly the United States and Africa. He was also a frequent speaker at Bible conferences and missionary conventions. In 1958 he became one of the associate evangelists of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and in 1973 he was appointed director of the Billy Graham Relief Fund for Africa.
Among the many positions of leadership held by and honors awarded to Rev. Jones were presidency of the National Negro Evangelical Association (1966-1968); enrollment in the Nyack Honor Society (1967); an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Huntington College, Huntington, IN (1970); membership on the board of trustees of Huntington College (1974); membership on the executive committee of the board of National Religious Broadcasters (1974). He wrote three books, including an autobiography, From the World of Jazz.
The Jones had five children: Cheryl (1946), Gail (1948), Phyllis (1950), David (1953), and Lisa (1961).
Scope and Content
This collection consists entirely of tapes of broadcasts of the Hour of Freedom radio program. Although the collection contains 455 tapes recorded between 1968 and 1980, there are periods of time, sometimes several months long, for which there are no programs. The dates and numbers for each tape are those which were on the tape when it was received by the Archives. Presumably it is the date of broadcast. The first two tapes, labeled "A" and "B," appear to be audition tapes submitted to the advertising firm, Walter F. Bennett and Company. In a few cases, a sermon text and title are given. Several programs contain sermons which are essentially duplicates of one earlier broadcast, although the musical selection of the program may be different.